Reaching the holy man's dwelling place, the emperor found the hermit digging a garden in frontof his hut. When the hermit saw the stranger, he nodded his head in greeting and continued to dig.The labor was obviously hard on him. He was an old man, and each time he thrust his spade into theground to turn the earth, he heaved heavily.The emperor approached him and said, "I have come here to ask your help with three questions:When is the best time to do each thing? Who are the most important people to work with? What isthe most important thing to do at all times?"The hermit listened attentively but only patted the emperor on the shoulder and continueddigging. The emperor said, "You must be tired. Here, let me give you a hand with that." The hermitthanked him, handed the emperor the spade, and then sat down on the ground to rest.After he had dug two rows, the emperor stopped and turned to the hermit and repeated his threequestions. The hermit still did not answer, but instead stood up and pointed to the spade and said,"Why don't you rest now? I can take over again." But the emperor continued to dig. One hour passed, then two. Finally the sun began to set behind the mountain. The emperor put down thespade and said to the hermit, "I came here to ask if you could answer my three questions. But if youcan't give me any answer, please let me know so that I can get on may way home."The hermit lifted his head and asked the emperor, "Do you hear someone running over there?"The emperor turned his head. They both saw a man with a long white beard emerge from thewoods. He ran wildly, pressing his hands against a bloody wound in his stomach. The man rantoward the emperor before falling unconscious to the ground, where he lay groaning. Opening theman's clothing, the emperor and hermit saw that the man had received a deep gash. The emperor cleaned the wound thoroughly and then used his own shirt to bandage it, but the blood completelysoaked it within minutes. He rinsed the shirt out and bandaged the wound a second time andcontinued to do so until the flow of blood had stopped.At last the wounded man regained consciousness and asked for a drink of water. The emperor ran down to the stream and brought back a jug of fresh water. Meanwhile, the sun had disappearedand the night air had begun to turn cold. The hermit gave the emperor a hand in carrying the maninto the hut where they laid him down on the hermit's bed. The man closed his eyes and lay quietly.The emperor was worn out from the long day of climbing the mountain and digging the garden.Leaning against the doorway, he fell asleep. When he rose, the sun had already risen over themountain. For a moment he forgot where he was and what he had come here for. He looked over tothe bed and saw the wounded man also looking around him in confusion. When he saw theemperor, he stared at him intently and then said in a faint whisper, "Please forgive me.""But what have you done that I should forgive you?" the emperor asked."You do not know me, your majesty, but I know you. I was your sworn enemy, and I had vowedto take vengeance on you, for during the last war you killed my brother and seized my property.When I learned that you were coming alone to the mountain to meet the hermit, I resolved tosurprise you on your way back to kill you. But after waiting a long time there was still no sign of you, and so I left my ambush in order to seek you out. But instead of finding you, I came acrossyour attendants, who recognized me, giving me this wound. Luckily, I escaped and ran here. If Ihadn't met you I would surely be dead by now. I had intended to kill you, but instead you saved mylife! I am ashamed and grateful beyond words. If I live, I vow to be your servant for the rest of mylife, and I will bid my children and grandchildren to do the same. Please grant me your forgiveness."